Zooey Wonder amongst SXSW performers to have Visa cancelled at the last minute; removed from 2017 Taiwan Beats Lineup [Opinion]
2017's SXSW Festival an annual Tech, Music and Film festival held in Austin, Texas seems to have become just the perfect situation for Trump's executive travel ban order to play out in disastrous form on the world stage.
Seen to be the largest international festival of its kind, each year artists and creative types flock to the event for an opportunity to showcase their works. However, this year Trump's travel ban, nicknamed 'the muslim ban' for its effect on those with nationality or dual nationality of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen has caused quite a stir, first with punk band Told Slant dropping out of the festival due to a clause in the performers' contract which threatened deportation of artists. Last week, Italian band Soviet Soviet was also denied entry and was unable to participate in the festivities.
Yesterday (13th March), three other bands announced that they would not be attending SXSW due to members having Visa issues; namely Yussef Kamal, United Vibrations and post hardcore band Massive scar Era.
In an unprecedented move, on the 11th of March Taiwanese indie singer-songwriter Zooey Wonder joined the ranks of SXSW artists who had been denied entry into the U.S. when her ESTA was revoked at the last minute upon arrival at the airport.
Slated to perform at the Taiwan Beats showcase which has been held at SXSW for the past two years, Wonder was meant to perform alongside new and promising artists such as Hello Nico, Matzka, DJ Question Mark and Jade Eyes.
Due to the AIT (American Institute in Taiwan) being closed on the weekends, Wonder has of yet not received an explanation for why her visa was revoked.
Although Taiwan is not on the list of countries who are affected by this travel ban, the quick succession of visa revokes, some of which directly associated to Trump's stringent policies hint at the same being the case for Wonder.
Of the dramatic turn of events, Wonder took to her Facebook page. In one part, she expresses her feelings at the visa revoke, saying:
"Although at the time I was really disappointed, but after returning from the airport and resting for a day, I've got my focus back and am preparing now for the next two concert tours. Thank you everyone for your care, this album and concert will be great on your ears and eyes. Other than there being many surprising special guests, you can also expect many different performance formats, hope everyone can see my perseverance and growth in the last few years".
Being denied upon her first trip to America, this must have been a blow for Zooey. However, I believe with her prowess and unique musical style, her voice is resilient in the winds of change and will make its way around the world no matter how or when.
Check out Zooey's Folktronica/Ambient sound here:
Zooey Wonder’s ‘Wonderland’ album will be released in March 2017. She will be playing to crowds at Taichung Legacy on the 10th of March, 18th of March at Kaohsiung’s Warehouse, and on the 22nd of March at Taipei Legacy.
A little late, but better late than never, right? First of all, I’d like to wish all Asian Pop Weekly readers a very happy new year (Chinese New Year was just over so I consider myself only slightly late with this greeting)! As things have been hectic over the last couple of years, loyal readers may notice that the Asian Pop Weekly website has settled into a stable rhythm of posts such as news articles, lyric translations, interviews and album reviews, but I feel like it’s time to step things up a notch in terms of the amount of feature articles available on this site. So my resolution this year is to keep APW going strong, and to add a little pizzazz to our content just to spice things up.
In lieu of such a statement, I figured that I might as well start off with one of those ‘listicles’ which are so popular at the moment, a listicle of my top 10 C-pop songs of 2016 recommended especially for ABCs (individuals of Asian heritage living in Western regions), or basically for any English speakers who are interested in learning more about Chinese music. While some of these songs may not be the biggest C-pop hits of 2016, they’re nevertheless a great selection of tunes, mostly by artists with offerings friendly to the international market which will certainly be a pleasure for your ears. So without further adieu, let’s get into it!
For fans of Mandopop Queen A-Mei, her rearrangement of her 1996 hit ‘Sisters’ was released this year, and acts both as a hit of nostalgia for those of us who lived through the C-pop Golden era of the 1990s-early 2000s, but that’s not all the song’s about. A-Mei expressed that she mulled over the idea of revamping the song for years before she decided to take the plunge, and given her reputation as an avant-garde, rule-breaking artist, this song was more than just a commercial money-grabbing scheme. Opting this time to go with a simple acoustic guitar arrangement, A-Mei’s effortlessly clear and sweet voice envelops ones’ earbuds as she delivers a message for society, one of hope, love and solidarity. Listen out for her beautiful spoken message near the end of the song. Nostalgia and a real heart-warming message that would not be lost on listeners given how 2016 turned out.